Recently, I was speaking to a group of pastors when one of them shared a very simple idea that actually possessed several generosity benefits. He called it Benevolence Buckets and here is how it works. Once a month at the end of the worship service they place Benevolence Buckets on the floor by the doors. As people exit worship they are able to make an above and beyond contribution to the church’s Benevolence Fund. Prior to the service being dismissed the pastor would tell a story of how the resources were being used in the community to impact lives significantly. The stories could range from a family who was dramatically affected by the loss of job, cancer, or fire.
Benevolence Buckets is a simple ministry that cost the price of a few buckets but has a big impact.
- Benevolence Buckets provide the opportunity to teach once a month about above and beyond giving. People are actually giving these types of gifts all the time. Let’s not wait until a three-year capital campaign rolls around. Make above and beyond giving an ongoing practice.
- Benevolence Buckets provide the opportunity to tell a specific story of measurable impact upon a life. While budget giving is critical to keeping the doors open, it is often perceived by the giver as less visionary and tangible. The more specific the vision the more generosity is released.
- Benevolence Buckets make a difference in a person’s life or a family that is really hurting. After all, that is the only goal of a Benevolence Ministry. Help a person that is really hurting right now with exactly the kind of help they need.
- Benevolence Buckets enable a large group of people to make small gifts that together cause them to live big lives. It’s crowdfunding without the internet. While most people feel like their generosity level can make very little difference, the Benevolence Buckets inspire them to get involved with others to make a powerful difference this week.
- Benevolence Buckets create excitement and expectation in people. They can’t wait for the next story and opportunity to give. People actually come prepared. I would imagine that some people set money aside all month long and their personal giving has grown during this experience.
- Benevolence Buckets create great teaching moments for kids. Kids are tangible learners, the buckets are on their level, and the story can connect for later conversations at home. Generous parents raise generous kids. I know the parents really appreciate the practical support.
- Benevolence Buckets create resources and expectations among leaders. The Benevolence Team is no longer managing a limited budget. They actually have resources in advance and are looking for ways to invest. I bet the excitement and energy on their Benevolence Team is through the roof.
- Benevolence Buckets create new sources of giving and can relieve some financial pressure on your budget. The Benevolence Budget Line can actually be redeployed to another cause. Here are a couple of trade secrets on how to experience a resource overflow at your church: have a clear vision of tangible impact, make above and beyond giving easy and common, then redeploy budget resources to reduce debt, expand for growth, or hire new staff.
This is just one small example of how generosity is unleashed when a life-changing story, specific vision, and convenient giving opportunity come together. The benefits go way beyond the bucket. Let this small practice inspire your leadership to unleash new ways of experiencing a resource overflow.